ABOUT US

The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative is a global multi-stakeholder partnership launched at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP-11) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India in 2012. The BaCH Initiative is a trans-disciplinary collaboration amongst leading stakeholders working at the biodiversity and health nexus. Coordinated by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), the BaCH Initiative brings together expertise and networks of United Nations agencies, international organizations and NGOs. The BaCH Initiative is gaining members and considers further partners.

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Poverty reduction and sustainability through biodiversity conservation and health security

The BaCH Initiative aims to contribute to the health and ecosystems of communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It does this by revitalizing, supporting and sharing traditional health practices that contribute to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. These practices rely on a healthy ecosystem and traditional knowledge relating to the sustainable use of the flora and fauna for human wellbeing. Furthermore these practices ensure accessible healthcare to communities who lack access to modern medical services.

Our five specific objectives:

Applying a holistic capacity development approach while building on experiences of and lessons learned by our partners, we aim to achieve five specific objectives applying a multi-level approach:

  1. Promote synergies between biodiversity conservation and health security

Integrating conservation priorities in health system planning by underscoring the importance of medicinal plants in the local ecosystem as well as local biological and cultural diversity and local development priorities.

  1. Promote the integration of traditional medicinal practices and mainstream health systems

Raising the contemporary relevance of traditional medicinal practices and creating and integrating these into mainstream health systems and supporting the revival, sharing and exchange of diminishing traditional health knowledge.

  1. Promote the development of sustainable enterprise and livelihoods

Identifying best practices for local innovations through livelihood programs and local enterprises and initiating further enterprises in the biodiversity and health nexus.

  1. Support the development of capacity for self-reliant health care in local communities

Identifying and piloting best practices for self-reliant health systems amongst communities that have limited reach to health services as well as supporting and transferring traditional knowledge and practices related to food and nutrition.

  1. Promote the integration of traditional, local and scientific knowledge at the biodiversity and health nexus

Operationalizing a comprehensive health and well-being approach and integrating the linkage between biodiversity and community health in relevant programmes focused on agriculture, food and nutrition, environment and trade, health by governments, development partners and non-governmental organizations.